Volunteers work to reroute Hot Springs Trail
Steamboat Springs — Routt County Riders volunteers and Smartwool employees got dirty and sweaty Friday to repair the popular Hot Springs Trail.
In late May, the U.S. Forest Service learned a portion of the trail had washed out into the creek. The trail remained open, but care was needed when walking along the edge with a 10- to 12-foot drop into the creek.
Instead of fixing the area, the Forest Service preferred to go with a longer-term solution and reroute the trail to go further above the creek. The Forest Service though did not have the manpower to get this done quickly, so they enlisted volunteers.
“Without them and without their support and their manpower, we couldn’t be able to fix this, and we’d have to close the trail down for a longer period of time,” said Kent Foster with the U.S. Forest Service.
Before Friday’s work, a Forest Service crew had gone in with chainsaws and cleared the new 1,000-foot section of trail.
About 55 people with Routt County Riders and Smartwool then worked with axes and shovels to cut all of the new trail, and they were able to do about 75 percent of the finish work.
“These guys absolutely rocked,” said Gretchen Sehler, a volunteer with Routt County Riders.
Sehler said it was easy working with the Forest Service.
“They got it approved so fast, and we got working on it soon,” Sehler said.
Sehler said Routt County Riders will host a volunteer day Saturday to try and finish the work. People interested in helping should meet at 8:45 a.m. at the beginning of the Strawberry Park Hot Springs dirt road.
SmartWool closed its office Friday so employees could volunteer for the project as part of the company’s Earth Day. Each employee at the company is given 40 hours of paid time to volunteer.
“We just have enough people who want to work hard and who care,” Smartwool President Mark Satkiewicz said.
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